Some travelers of the path (the theologians) spoke: Let us learn the craft of the scribe and inscribe all existing things on our hearts with the ink of study and the reed of repetition in order that a copy of everything sensory and super-sensory that exists in the world may be written in ours hearts. Whatever is inscribed and recorded in our hearts is well preserved. Thus our heart will become the Well-preserved Tablet.
But other travelers of the path (the mystics) spoke: Let us learn the polisher’s trade and make the mirror of our heart clean and shining with the stone of spiritual struggle and the oil of contemplation of God, in order that our hearts may become transparent mirrors, reflecting everything sensory and supersensory that exists in the world. A reflection in the mirror is more accurate and free from doubt than writing, for in writing errors and fallacies are possible, while in the reflection, they do not occur. Moreover, there are many branches of science, and even many categories of science, and life is short. Hence life is not long enough to make the heart the Well-preserved Tablet by means of study and repetition. But by means of spiritual struggle and contemplation of God, life can make the heart a mirror, disclosing the whole world.
-- the Persian mystic Nasafi
Michael Cohen and
Jay Dwyer, San Francisco, August 2005